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Archive for March, 2012

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3/16

I started 4 Gigs of Trouble by Stella Baker. It’s $2.99 right now, but I got it when it was free the other day. It was on my “maybe” wishlist because I think it had been mentioned in this thread a couple times.

I gave it to 16% and then decided to ditch it. Aside from the writing seeming to be in the “trying a little too hard” category, I can’t really point to anything being wrong with it specifically. But it just wasn’t grabbing my attention at all. With so many other TBR books on my Kindle I decided “not for me” and moved on.

I read a couple freebie short stories that aren’t even worth mentioning, just to clear out my head while wondering which novel to start next. Then came that welcome siren call from my Kindle. You know the one. You’re in the middle of doing something else when a book that has been sitting there, patiently waiting, suddenly calls out to you and says, “Now is the time.”

This time it was Echoes of Betrayal by Elizabeth Moon, which is the third Paladin’s Legacy book ($12.99). It downloaded to my Kindle from a pre-order at the end of February but I hadn’t been in the right exact mood for it until now.

Man, oh, man is it great stuff so far! I’ve been chortling with glee because I’ve been enjoying it so much. There’s been an escape, a battle, death, benevolent and evil gods at work, a wedding date set, and an ambush – and I’m only 17% into it! Moon is really on top of her game.

3/21

I just finished reading Echoes of Betrayal earlier. It was a great book, but I’m frustrated. It just ended, BOOM! I had been hoping that the Paladin’s Legacy books would be a trilogy like Deed of Paksenarrion, but this is the third book and things are far from done.

There’s all kinds of stuff going on with multiple view point characters and complex plots that you know are probably related, but much of it isn’t clear yet. I’m gonna have to visit her website to see if she’s stated what her plans for the series are so I’ll know what to expect in the future. Waiting a year for the next one is painful!

Basically what I’m saying is, I love these books and my complaint is that they aren’t all written yet so I can just read straight through in order to find out what happens. :)

Not sure what I’m going to start next.

[Note: From what I gather on Moon’s blog there will be a total of five books in the Paladin’s Legacy series. Evidently it was originally intended as a trilogy, but she had too much story to do it justice in only three books so the publisher agreed to extend it to five. It’s nice to know what to expect now, but I admit there’s also a little part of me that is already bummed to know it will be over again in only two books. How’s that for contradictory?]

3/24

I finished Shadow Heir by Richelle Mead. (Its only $3.99 right now.) It’s the fourth and final book in the Dark Swan series. It was a good solid read. The first half was slower-paced than previous books, but that didn’t detract for me. I think she did a decent job of choosing a place to end the books. I always admire an author who doesn’t decide to just drag things out for the sake of book sales. She did leave some things very open ended though, so it’s obvious there’s potential for a sequel series of books.

I’ve now started Second Star by Dana Stabenow. She’s known for her mysteries, but this one is SF. And it’s free! I’ve only read the first chapter so can’t comment much, but it did get my attention right away as she’s on a shuttle bound from Earth to an orbiting colony.

3/27

I finished reading Second Star by Dana Stabenow. It’s a difficult book to discuss because the first half was kind of a mess. Parts were confusing, there was too much exposition at some points and not enough at others, awkward info dumps, and some things told in an odd order. It also didn’t seem to be going anywhere, with lots and lots of time spent on how the space colony was set up, etc.

On the other hand, I really felt like I was out there in space in a real colony and I love that. The second half of the book really picks up and there’s quite a bit of action.

The book suffered from poor timing in publication too I think. The Soviet Union still existed when she was writing it, but had collapsed by the time it was actually released, which presents some awkward extrapolations on what her future was like, which still included “the Reds”.

There were a lot of similarities between this book and Starfarers by Vonda N. McIntyre (available at Bookview Cafe), which was published three years prior to Second Star. Both authors obviously spent a lot of time reading about O’Neill colonies.

Even with the problems I ended up liking it okay and am considering getting the next book. There are three in all I believe.

I’m now reading Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane ($7.99). It’s the fourth book in the Downside Ghosts urban fantasy series and it just downloaded last night from my pre-order. I’m not too far into it yet.

3/31

I finished reading Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane. I had a little harder time with this one than the first three books, which I read quickly in a row late last year. It was well established in the previous books that Chess, the main character, hates herself and thinks she doesn’t deserve anything good. This was repeated almost incessantly in her thoughts in this book and it got very old, very fast. An occasional thought as a reminder of her way of thinking is all that’s needed by this point.

With that said, I still enjoyed the book quite a lot. And since repetition is one of the things guaranteed to drive me bonkers, that’s a testament to Kane’s world-building and storytelling abilities. Her world of Downside is vivid, unique, dark, and consistent. Her characters are interesting and the plot was fast-paced. I’m looking forward to the next one, which is scheduled for release in June. (I already have it on pre-order.)

Several books on my Kindle are clamoring for me to read them next, so not sure which one I’m gonna go with!

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This one is from Silent in the Sanctuary, a humorous Victorian mystery, by Deanna Raybourn:

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Silent in the Sanctuary (Deanna Raybourn)
– Highlight Loc. 5246-47 | Added on Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Now I was more certain than ever of my decision. I could not love a man who did not love Jane Austen.

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This highlight is from The Witching Hour by Anne Rice:

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The Witching Hour (Anne Rice)
– Highlight Loc. 6335-36 | Added on Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Give me a man or woman who has read a thousand books and you give
me an interesting companion. Give me a man or woman who has read
perhaps three and you give me a dangerous enemy indeed.
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Since getting my Kindle in February 2009 I’ve discovered the joys of highlighting passages in novels that delight or move me.

I have to admit that my rather shallow reading tastes are reflected in which passages I most often choose to highlight. I usually highlight something because it made me laugh out loud, or at least grin a little bit. Though occasionally I do select something because it’s beautifully worded or profound to me in some way.

In the last three years I’ve collected quite an assortment of quotations which talk about books, usually with reverence, though occasionally just the opposite. I’d been thinking for a while of starting to post some of my highlights on the blog, so what better place to start than with selections from books that talk about books.

My first offering is from The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, in which the protagonist is the daughter of a used and rare bookshop owner:

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The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel (Diane Setterfield)
– Highlight Loc. 278-83 | Added on Tuesday, May 03, 2011, 02:30 AM

People disappear when they die. Their voice, their laughter, the warmth
of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living memory of
them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an
exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continue
to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humor, their tone of voice, their
moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy.
They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this,
even though they are dead. Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in
ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is, by
the miracle of ink on paper, preserved. It is a kind of magic.

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I’ve been browsing through Stacia Kane’s blog, reading back through old posts. I ran across this one that lists five sad songs. (I now have plans to buy the download of Gloomy Sunday by Billie Holiday because of it.) So of course reading her list made me think of what kind of list I’d make.

I came up with not exactly a sad song list. It’s mood music for when sad, broken-hearted, wallowing in misery, or other things of a similar nature. It’s for when absolutely the last thing you want is to listen to is some perky, happy shit.

Here is my list in no particular order, except the first one, which is hands down the best depression song ever:

1. “Trouble by Cat Stevens. If you ever need a song that feels your pain, this one is it.

“Trouble” has seen me through a lot of hard times. The one I remember most vividly (that I’m willing to share) is from when I was 20 and I had my hopes set on getting a specific summer job. The job which would get me out of Idaho, where I’d been working for five months because I couldn’t find any work in Spokane, and back to Washington State.

The job fell through and I was devastated, feeling stuck in my Idaho exile with no options for escape. After I got the news on the phone I went to my room and put the cassette tape in my player and played “Trouble” over and over again as I curled up and cried copious tears on my bed. (It’s a little funny to look back on that now, because as devastated as I was at that time, it turned out that I ended up having a good summer there and I have very fond memories of my year and a half spent in Idaho. Just goes to show, I guess.)

Choice lyric: “I’m beat, I’m torn, shattered and tossed and worn, too shocking to see, too shocking to see.

2. “The Prison by Melissa Etheridge. This is technically a lost love song, but it also works very well for those times you’re feeling trapped.

Choice lyric: “I tried to leave it all behind me. I drove all night, I drove all day. But the walls of this prison still surround me, and I can’t break away.

3. “Cry to Me by Heart. If you’re feeling miserable and alone, what better way to find comfort than Ann Wilson inviting you to cry on her shoulder? I mean seriously. This song is incredibly beautiful and highlights just one of the reasons why Ann is my Rock ‘n Roll idol.

Choice lyric: “The glass is empty and the wine is bitter on your tongue.

4. “Falling Star by Karla Bonoff. This one has an aching loneliness to it that appeals to me.

Choice lyric: “I can’t sleep, I hear my heart beat, oh I can’t stand the monotone.

5. “I Can’t Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt. This has to be one of the best unrequited love songs ever. But it also works for a variety of other love-gone-wrong situations.

When I was in the middle of trying to survive the agonizing heartbreak of my partner of six years leaving me I went to Bumbershoot (annual outdoor music festival in Seattle) with a friend, who was also enduring a break-up. Bonnie Raitt was one of the acts playing at the outdoor stadium that year and of course we went. As usual, Bonnie put on a great show. But when she played this song I thought it was going to kill me right then and there.

Choice lyric: “I’ll close my eyes, then I won’t see, the love you don’t feel when you’re holding me.

6. “Rhythm of the Blues by Mary Chapin Carpenter. A good relationship ending song, could work for troubled friendships too. It’s also a good song for quiet and gray rainy days.

Choice lyric: “I can’t seem to fix what’s broken, like this record, baby, in my head.

7. “Red, Red Wine by Neil Diamond. A break-up song, of course. But good for any night when wine, or your booze of choice, is your best companion. The cover by UB40 is more famous, but reggae style is much too upbeat for this song. Go with Neil.

Choice lyric: “Red, red wine, stay close to me, don’t let me be alone.

8. “Something to Believe In by Clannad. This is good for those times you’re a little beat down, doing some soul searching, or feeling like you’re missing something important in life.

Choice lyric: “All the things they promised, they’re always lies.

9. “Dust in the Wind by Kansas. Okay, so this one is rather cliché. But it’s pretty good for those moments of adolescent nihilistic angst. Should I admit it was one of my favorite songs as a teen in the 70s?

Choice lyric: “Don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky.

10. “Breathe No More by Evanescence. This is kind of an obvious choice. But then that’s why it made my list. A perfect song for those times of intense pain.

Choice lyric: “Shards of me too sharp to put back together, too small to matter, but big enough to cut me into so many little pieces.

11. “Hurting Time” by Annie Lennox. A general, all purpose hurting song. I really love this one. Lennox sings it beautifully and the music has a great kinda slow groove thing going on. [No Mp3 available.]

Choice lyric: “Tears that you’ve been living with running down your face, running down your face.

12. “Me by Paula Cole. For when you’re your own worst enemy. (Though this one is a cheat because it also includes an upbeat, I can do it message. Pfft!)

Choice lyric: “I am walking on the bridge, I am over the water, and I’m scared as hell.

13. “It Hurt So Bad by Susan Tedeschi. This list would not be complete without a true blues song, and this is my pick. Tedeschi wails convincingly about missing a lost lover.

Choice lyric: “Oh what a fool I was, darlin’,yes. And oh you were a fool to let, let me go. Why did you let me go?

14. “I’m About to Come Alive by Train. For when life isn’t what you expected, you’ve messed things up, and you’re pleading for another chance to get it together.

Choice lyric: “No one thought I was good enough for you, except for you. Don’t let them be right after all that we’ve been through.

15. “Bobby by Reba McEntire. This song is an oddball on the list. First of all, I’m not really into country music. But for no reason I can explain I’ve always loved listening to Reba talk. So on a lark one day I bought one of her CDs. Second of all, it doesn’t fit with the rest of the list because it’s not a woe-is-me, wallowing song.

I first heard this song shortly after I’d bought the CD and was playing it in my car. I was driving across the 520 bridge to the Eastside and ended up having a hard time seeing the road because of tears. This is a song that tells a sad story. I dare you to listen to it and not blubber, at least a little bit.

Choice lyric: Nope, not for this one since it’s a story.

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[At the Amazon Kindle Community forum there is a monthly thread where participants list and comment on which books they’re reading at the moment on their Kindles. These aren’t usually full reviews, often  just relatively brief impressions. I’m copying over some of my comments made there into Book Bits posts here.]

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My monthly Book Bits posts get rather long if I’ve read a lot of books and I include extensive comments on several of them. So I thought maybe I should try breaking them up into more than one post per month. So here’s my books from the first half of March.

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3/3

At the very end of February I finished reading Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann. I’m glad to have now read it since I’ve heard it mentioned so much over the years. It was an okay read, Susann is actually a pretty decent writer. But I thought the book dragged things out more than they needed to be, so many of their life problems just seemed to repeat. It’s a very soap operaish look at three women who keep making bad decisions and never learn anything from them. It did provide a very interesting look at New York and Hollywood in the 40s through the 60s.

After that I read Timeless by Gail Carriger which is the 5th (and final?) book in the Parasol Protectorate series, a sort of mashup of paranormal fantasy, steampunk, and mystery. I didn’t think it was quite as strong as previous novels in the series and wasn’t quite as funny. It did take a surprising turn near the end that was fun. Still an enjoyable read.

Early today I read the first five chapters of In the Blood by Steve Robinson (self-published). It’s the March Mystery Madness selection for the book discussion group in the Kindle Book Forum. That’s all I’m going to read of it though. I thought the writing, while not falling into the dreadful category, was amateurish and confusing. I had to work way too hard to try and find anything interesting, let alone entertaining, about what was going on. Bummer, because I was looking forward to the group discussion.

I’m now 23% into River Marked by Patricia Briggs, which is the 6th book in the Mercedes Thompson urban fantasy series. The contrast between it and In the Blood is like night and day. I was swept back into Mercy’s world immediately and the writing is smooth and unobtrusive. This book has a slow start in that there hasn’t really been much action to speak of, but that hasn’t been a bad thing. It’s nice seeing Mercy so happy and I’m enjoying it tons so far.

3/6

I finished River Marked by Patricia Briggs earlier today. I liked it, but it’s definitely not the strongest book in the series.

The slow pacing continued through the book until fairly near the end. I didn’t mind the slower pace for the first part of the book, but it did drag a bit in the middle. This one is heavy on Native American lore, which interests me. I loved that some of the details about Mercy’s father were finally revealed. So while it wasn’t a “can’t put it down” book, I wouldn’t say I was disappointed at all.

3/9

Instead of starting a novel I went back to reading some short stories in the Chicks Kick Butt urban fantasy anthology. I kept right on reading and I only have one story left in it now, so will finish it out. I’ve only read work from four of the included authors previously, so it’s been an interesting introduction to a lot of new-to-me authors.

It’s a very strong anthology. Unless the final story is a total dud I thought there were only three that were quite a bit weaker than the others.

One was fairly short and I thought the writing was sub-par with a Mary-Sueish protagonist. One was novelette length, and I just plain didn’t like it, so only read a little bit of it. The third started out really promising, but then took a dive, including one of the worst sex scenes I’ve ever read. It was the only story in the anthology that included romance/sex, everything else was pure urban fantasy action. Considering there are 13 stories in the collection, only three not-so-good ones isn’t bad!

3/14

I have fun participating in NaNoWriMo, and every once in a while my novels require a sex scene. They’re really difficult for me to get right. So I just read Be a Sex Writing Strumpet (great title!) by Stacia Kane, author of the dark and gritty Downside Ghosts urban fantasy series (which I love), who has also written erotic romance novels.

The ebook comprises a series of posts on the topic of writing sex scenes that she did on her blog in 2008. You can still read them for free on the blog evidently, but the convenience and ease of reading it all on my Kindle was definitely worth the $2.99 price.

Kane is funny, so aside from the helpful advice, it was just plain entertaining to read. A lot of what was included was common sense stuff, but sometimes you need someone to point out the obvious so you go, “Oh yeah!”

I thought it was a very good guide, especially in terms of learning how to properly set things up earlier in the novel because, as she points out, that’s the most important part to get right or the sex scene will flop no matter how good it is. Several of the chapters also suggest specific writing/reading exercises to learn how to apply the information in the topics covered.

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I just finished rereading Lessons in Murder by Claire McNab, an Australian murder mystery that introduces Detective Inspector Carol Ashton. I’ve written a review, which can be found here.

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[At the Amazon Kindle Community forum there is a monthly thread where participants list and comment on which books they’re reading at the moment on their Kindles. These aren’t usually full reviews, often  just relatively brief impressions. I’m copying over some of my comments made there into Book Bits posts here.]

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2/3

I finished reading Gladiatrix [historical/female gladiators] by Russell Whitfield. I could make a rather lengthy list of things that were problems with the writing, characterization, editing, Kindle formatting, etc. But this is one of those times where I enjoyed the story so much that I just didn’t care. The story has women with swords, sex, violence, women with swords, ancient world geography and history, feuds, revenge, and did I mention women with swords? (The clever person may be able to pick out from my subtle hints what the attraction was for me. Hehe.)

My best friend went all click happy on my wishlist for my birthday, so now I’m reading another book she gave me, Keeping You a Secret [YA lesbian romance] by Julie Ann Peters. I’m about 50% through it and liking it quite a bit. The romance part isn’t even really going yet, it has mostly been dealing with the main character’s family life, friendships, and issues with being a senior in high school.

2/4

I finished reading Keeping You a Secret by Julie Ann Peters. I didn’t think the second half was as strong as the first half. I think part of the problem is that one of the characters had a secret and I was expecting something kinda dark and it turned out to be kinda teen melodramaish. Overall still a decent read though.

Another birthday gift from my friend was Chicks Kick Butt, edited by Rachel Caine. It’s an urban fantasy anthology. Since I wasn’t sure which novel to start next I read the first story in this one which was pretty decent and I’m almost through the second one which I’m liking quite a lot. Not sure yet if I’ll continue with more stories when I finish it tonight or start a new novel.

2/8

If a book can have a “color”, this one is definitely black, white and grey.

I totally agree with this assessment of Affinity by Sarah Waters. Every time I think of the book my head is filled with grey.

I read Stranded by Blayne Cooper. This is an adventure slash lesbian romance novel. Three women are stranded in the wilderness in Venezuela after their car goes off the road. If you can get past their incredibly stupid decision not to make their way back to the road the rest is a pretty entertaining read, mixing survival stuff with light humor and romance.

I’ve also now read a couple more of the short stories in the Chicks Kick Butt urban fantasy anthology. I think I’ve now read five of them and while some have been better than others I wouldn’t call any of them a dud, so it appears to be a fairly strong anthology.

Not sure which novel I’m going to start next, but I’m leaning towards American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I got it on sale for $1.99 about three weeks ago. I haven’t read any Gaiman before, so I’m looking forward to seeing what all the hubbub is about.

2/9

Well… uhh… I changed my mind! I went to American Gods in my unread book collection to start it, and then saw alllll those dots spreading across the home menu. I’m just not in the right space for a long book right now.

So after looking over my substantial TBR list I selected Moxyland by Lauren Beukes. (It’s still only $2.99, which is what I paid for it a while back.) I had read her other novel, Zoo City last year. It won the Arthur C. Clarke Award. Zoo City is more akin to urban fantasy, Moxyland is near future SF.

Just like with Zoo City, in Moxyland the reader is just tossed into the deep end and has to get their bearings as they read. This can be frustrating, and cause some readers to give up, but Beukes is a really good writer and somehow manages to snare and keep my attention anyway.

This is also despite the fact that the novel is from multiple POVs, one per chapter, with each in first person. Because first person is used it makes it a little more difficult to make the mental shift to keeping in mind it’s a different character doing the thinking, acting, etc.

The novel is set in 2018, and I think like a lot of authors who choose to do near future SF, she’s pushed up tech and societal shift timelines. It’s not that anything that I’ve read seems the least implausible, it’s just that it doesn’t seem plausible for only six years from now.

Another interesting thing to me is realizing how much I depend on my own cultural references for reading SF. I’m finding that it’s difficult for me to judge just how much is pure speculation and how much is simple extrapolation because the author is South African and my only frame of reference is a couple books I’ve read in the last year.

I guess you can tell from the fact that I’ve gone on about the book quite a bit, having only read about 25% of it, that it’s an interesting reading experience. I’m not totally enthralled, but the writing keeps me forging ahead, along with wanting to see where all this is going. Especially since it’s interesting how all the separate characters are slowly being woven together.

2/14/12

This forum keeps adding to my pile so I’m just going to have to live forever to finish them all.

Yep, yep. That’s pretty much the same conclusion that I’ve come to. Approx 80 already purchased TBR books on my Kindle (most for under $3), well over 100 freebies, and there are still tons of books out there that I drool over wanting to read that aren’t on my account… yet. The only possible solution to this situation is clear.

I finished reading Moxyland by Lauren Beukes a couple days ago. It ended up being a “not for me” thing. She’s a really good writer and her near-future world was very believable, but the plot lacked focus and likable characters.

Then I had to choose my next book carefully because I wanted it to be a good read, but it needed to be the right length to allow time to finish so I can also squeeze in doing a re-read of Pale Demon by Kim Harrison in anticipation of the release of A Perfect Blood a week from today. February is the opening of what I call Urban Fantasy Season, which stretches into June usually. Heh.

I decided to go with The Broken Bell by Frank Tuttle ($5.00), which is the sixth Markhat book. (Fantasy PI mysteries.) I got it on pre-order at the end of December, but hadn’t gotten around to it yet. (See first paragraph.) I’m about 15% in and really enjoying it. Tuttle’s characters are fun and his fantasy world is unique.

2/18

I just now finished reading The Broken Bell, which is the sixth Markhat book by Frank Tuttle. I love his colorful characters and Markhat is an interesting, humorous, and sympathetic protagonist. The books are mysteries in a fantasy setting, though it’s an early industrial revolution period, not the traditional medieval type. This adds a unique backdrop. There was even a whiff of steampunk flavor in this one with a distance talking contraption (or “dingus” as Markhat would say) and a steamboat.

The Broken Bell was a very solid addition to the series, with a more complex plot than in past books. There are three different main plot threads that are followed. I liked this because there was always a lot going on. However, after an attempt at a rescue new difficulties arose and I thought that they were unnecessary and stretched the book out longer than it needed to be. Though to counteract that, the epilogue was appropriate and didn’t weaken the ending at all, which I can’t say for most epilogues. Definitely a fun read!

I’m now starting Pale Demon by Kim Harrison as a re-read to refresh my memory in anticipation of the release of the latest book in the series.

2/25

I read a few of the Mayfair Witches books and thought they were pretty darn bad. I didn’t even have any idea what she was talking about half the time…

This cracked me up. It’s always so interesting to see how differently people respond to the same books. I thought The Witching Hour was not only her best work (at least of the ones I’ve read), but it’s one of the better books I’ve read, period. I’m not quite sure why, but something in how she wrote it really affects me, to the extent of having disturbing dreams. (Both times I read it.) Which isn’t typical for me for books I read.

I’m currently reading A Perfect Blood, latest release in the Hollows series by Kim Harrison.

2/27

I just now finished reading A Perfect Blood, which is the 10th book in the Hollows series by Kim Harrison. It pains me to say this, because this is my favorite series, but everything about this book felt “off”. It took me five days to read it when a new Hollows book usually takes me two days, three at the most.

I have loved every single book in the series up til now, even book 7 which a lot of fans didn’t like. But this one almost felt like someone else had written it. Normally Harrison’s writing gets immediately out of the way so that I’m totally there in her world, seeing what the characters see and feeling what the characters feel. That was hit-and-miss this time, and the characters often didn’t quite seem themselves.

I was also frustrated with the fact that while the main plotline was interesting enough, nothing else furthered the major series story arcs. The novel spent a good deal of its time spinning its wheels and there was way too much repetition. The characters I like most were either completely missing, or barely there. This one was all about Trent, to the exclusion of almost everyone else. Since I’m not a Trent fan, that didn’t help things any. (Though if the rest of the book didn’t have that feeling of being “off”, I’d probably still have enjoyed it.)

I don’t think my reaction has anything to do with my tastes having changed or not being in the right mood, because I read this back to back with book 9, which I enjoyed reading the second time almost as much as the first. I’m gonna go look at reader reviews now to see if it’s just me, or if others felt the same way.

Since I just now finished the book and am feeling blah about it, I have no clue what I’m going to start next!

2/28

Aw, Robin, I’m bummed for you! You were looking forward to it with such anticipation! Sorry it wasn’t what you hoped. : (

Thanks, Charlene. It’s the book I most look forward to for the year, so what a drag. Your commiseration helps though!

Because I was so bummed I decided I need to read what I call a “throw away” book. One that I don’t have anything invested in, so it doesn’t matter if I think it stinks and ditch it, or it ends up being only so-so. So with that in mind I started reading Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann (one of the 20th century greats according to a conversation between Spock and Kirk, hehe). It’s $7.99 now, but I got it on sale last year for $2.

I’m 30% in and it’s surprisingly good so far. (It helps to start out with low expectations.) It’s starts out in the year 1945, though I have to keep reminding myself of that because the “feel” of it is later. (The book was published in 1966, so that might be affecting my perceptions.) This is one of those books I’ve always heard about, but never bothered to read. I’m happy it’s not turning out to be a stinker, at least not yet.

There is one drawback though. It’s in the Dreaded Topaz Format. Blech.

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[My full reviews for Gladiatrix and Stranded are available by clicking on the links on this line.]

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